Nine out of the 36 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja now have more phone lines in active use than the total population in each of the states. This is according to the 2019 Third Quarter Telecoms Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Lagos leads the pack with a population of 12,100,616 using 23,565,388 active mobile lines followed by Ogun with a population of 5,024,191 and 10,635,901
active phone lines. There is the FCT with a population of 3,130,694 and 8,114,446 phone line subscriptions and then Oyo with 7,540,300 people and 9,188,863 mobile lines in use.
Others are Edo with 4,109,499 population and 5,951,116 active mobile lines; Delta has 5,460,311 people with 5,930,227 mobile line subscription; and then Niger with 5,343,326 people and 5,633,276 active phone lines. The rest include Kwara with a population of 3,086,249 operating 3,989,916 mobile lines and Nasarawa that has 2,439,113 people with 3,720,406 active phone lines.
The telecoms data which is one of the last report to be released by the NBS in 2019 show that the total number of active voice subscription in the country rose by 2.96 percent from the Second Quarter of 2019 to hit 179,176,930 in the Third Quarter of 2019. The country however recorded 10.58 percent rise Year-on-Year from 162,032,481 active voice subscriptions in the Third Quarter of 2018.
In the state-by-state breadown, Lagos besides leading eight other states which their populations outnumber the phone lines that are in use also has the single highest number of subscribers in terms of active voice per State in Third Quarter of 2019. It is closely followed by Ogun with 10,635,901 subscribers and Kano 10,519,187 subscribers while Bayelsa with 1,305,327 and Ebonyi with 1,630,080 have the least
number of subscribers in the country.
For data services, though Nigeria in the Third Quarter of 2019 recorded just a marginal 0.40 percent growth from the Second Quarter of the year, the total of 123,163,027 active subscribers represent 18.98 percent Year-on-Year from the 103,514,997 subscribers in the Third Quarter of 2018. The ranking of the states is however not any different from the statistics in the active voice service subscription.
The NBS report did not indicate any reason for the figures released but it is not far-fetched that with unreliable services, some subscribers carry multiple lines to be able to have access to their contacts at all times. This is most likely the reason why there would be more active lines especially in commercially viable states in addition to the official lines used in organisations and call or customer service centres.
Analysts however say the prevalence of telecoms services also shows the country’s growing digital economy. They explain that targeting the mobile population through their phones and online is as effective as reaching out to target audience and the publics in a given state and the country at large.
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